Orzo with Asparagus is an easy recipe that can be altered to suit the meal you plan to serve it with. I have successfully used beef broth in place of chicken broth for beef based main dishes.
Parmesan can be added, but I don;t find the extra calories or sodium necessary. Slow simmering provides all the creaminess and the flavored borth provides all the flavor you will need.
I have changed out vegetables without an issue as well. You could even add some protein and turn it into a one pot main dish.
This version of orzo looks like you worked hard and kind of reminds me of risotto without all the hard work.
When I think of risotto I hear Gordon Ramsey in the background talking about incompetence. His shows may have scarred me for life and scared me away from ever attempting to make risotto. I’ll stick to orzo.
Orzo is a versatile dish and one that would be great for new cooks to experiment with. Just be sure to stay with it the first few times you make it so that you don’t let it sit too long in the pan without liquid. The pasta will stick to the bottom of the pan and start to burn. After making this a few times you will have a feel for how long you can leave it unattended.
The dish will take on a whole different layer of flavors if you allow the orzo to toast. When I am not in a huge hurry or starving, I will cook until most of the orzo is toasted and some of it a deep brown.
The pasta will soak in more liquid as it cools, so if it looks too runny or wet it will be fine. I actually find that one I add frozen peas it tightens up quickly. Fresh asparagus will take longer for the dish to cool.Print
Orzo with Asparagus
Toasted orzo simmered in broth, perfect alternative to risotto.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 cups Orzo Pasta
- 2 cans Condensed Chicken or Beef Broth
- 1/2 bunch fresh Asparagus
- 2 Cups Water, more water may need to be added to finish cooking pasta
- In a skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Once melted, add orzo and toss to coat with butter. Continue to cook, stirring frequently over medium-high heat until at least half of the orzo is lightly browned.
- Add 1 can condensed broth. Reduce heat to low and cover. Uncover and stir every couple of minutes, recovering after stirring. When liquid is mostly absorbed into the pasta, add the other can of condensed broth. Uncover and stir every couple of minutes, recovering after stirring. If more liquid is needed, add water 1/2 cup at a time, covering and simmering as previously until pasta is cooked to your preferred tenderness.
- When pasta is done, toss in asparagus or peas. Recover pan and allow the heat from the pasta to cook the chosen vegetable.
I substitute asparagus with frozen peas on occasion, any frozen or fresh quick cooking vegetable can be used.
- Serving Size: 1 Cup
- Calories: 164
- Sugar: 2.36 g
- Sodium: 985 mg
- Fat: 7.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 14.7 g
- Fiber: 1.9 g
- Protein: 9.3 g
- Cholesterol: 15 g